My maritime employer is trying to deny payment for my treatment. Can they do that?

Maritime Insurers Commonly Deny Medical Treatments Contact Hofmann & SchweitzerMaritime laws state that employers are obligated to pay the costs of any reasonable medical treatment after an injury at sea. Unfortunately, many maritime employers and their insurance companies will deny payment for certain procedures that they think are too costly, claiming that these treatments are not actually necessary.

Common Medical Treatments Denied by Maritime Insurers

Although maritime employers are responsible for paying the medical bills, they are heavily involved in the process, creating a conflict of interest. All treatments must be authorized by the maritime employer in order to secure payment, and all injured workers are required to see a doctor who is approved by the insurance company. Injured workers should always see a trusted physician after an injury at sea, even if they are required to meet with a company physician.

Common Medical Treatments Often Denied By Insurance Companies

Surgery

The costs of many surgical procedures, such as spinal fusion or joint replacement surgery, may range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Even if a doctor recommends surgery as the best possible treatment for an injury, the insurer may deny the expense, claiming that there are other less expensive treatments available and not all alternatives have been explored.

Imaging Scans

Doctors typically rely on a variety of diagnostic tests to fully understand the extent and nature of an injury, including x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. However, a doctor working for the insurance company may neglect to order one or more scans to save the insurer money—or to avoid finding a potentially costly complication.

Rehabilitation

Workers may need physical therapy for months or years in order to improve mobility, as well as take medications to treat chronic pain.

Psychiatry or Counseling for PTSD

Insurers may reject claims for psychological consequences of an injury, claiming that the mental or emotional effects stem from a pre-existing condition or are not related to the work injury. 

Assistive Devices 

Insurers are often resistant to claims for prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, spinal cord stimulators, or other devices that can increase quality of life.

Our maritime injury attorneys are based in New York, but we represent clients across the country who have suffered an accident at sea. If your benefits have been denied or withheld, you may be able to collect punitive damages. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 today to schedule your free consultation.

 

Paul T. Hofmann
Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.